Somewhere in the mid August of 2016, I was asked by Mr Mudar Patherya to consider doing a Help-Portrait session at Tiljala Shed. Since one of our earlier help-portrait sessions was scheduled to be held at this location, I gladly agreed to the proposal. This would also be my first Help-Portrait session post my surgery last year and truth be told, I was grateful to be doing this.
Tiljala Shed is a grassroots level non government developmental organisation working for the underprivileged population for the past 29 years. Their special emphasis is focused on the rag pickers community who have been neglected and socially ostracised by the so called civil society over the years. Tiljala Shed has been working very closely with this community for the overall development and to up lift and bring them into mainstream society. They provide education to their children and connect with corporates for enhancement of their livelihood opportunities in solid dry waste collection.
Once we reached the narrow alleyways of the Tiljala Shed area, we decided to shoot the 65 or so families inside the compound of the premises where they have their regular classes and other administrative duties. This place was perfect for crowd management and gave us some time to set up each of the families and get them comfortable in front of the camera. Once we figured out this drill, it was a matter of repeating this process till we went through all of the 65 families!
We returned with Mudar the next week to give out the prints. This is almost always the most anticipated part of doing a help-portrait session. To see the smiles come alive and the anticipation on their faces. As i spread out the prints on the table, i could feel the palpable excitement of the kids. These are moments where you truly realise that a picture is worth indeed.
Once again, I’m grateful to Mr Mudar Patherya for giving me this opportunity to do what what i love to do most with my camera! Special thanks also to Mr Shafkat Alam for graciously setting up the logistics and for all the help during the session and the photo handouts. I also appreciate the help, support and assistance of Pablo Dey, my teammate from Cogfree who assisted me on this shoot. All in all, it was a couple of Sundays well spent, which i shall remember for a long long time to come.